Baby death scandal victims told they must fight for compensation | UK | News

April 6, 2024
47 Views
2 Comments


Families at the centre of a hospital trust’s baby deaths scandal must be shown “compassion” in their fight for compensation, an inquiry boss has warned.

Health bosses have ruled relatives of those injured or who lost babies or loved ones at East Kent NHS Trust should prove the NHS was responsible if they want compensation, despite the findings of a damning inquiry.

Dr Bill Kirkup, who led the official inquiry said he is “extremely disappointed” in the new ruling by NHS resolution, which represents trusts when compensation claims are made. He urged the NHS to show “compassion.”

His inquiry into maternity care at the trust’s William Harvey hospital in Ashford and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital in Margate published in 2022 linked poor care to the deaths of 45 babies and life changing injuries to 12 others. It also concluded 23 women may have avoided death or injuries had “nationally recognised” standards of care been given. It also disclosed a litany of failures and a toxic culture that persisted for more than a decade. Doctors, nurses and midwives failed to provide basic care, such as monitoring a baby’s heartbeats, performing emergency caesareans or providing antibiotics. 

While a small number of cases have been resolved, many families are still going through the claims process. They hoped the failings of the trust would be enough to get compensation without a fight. 

Dr Kirkup said he was “disappointed” the families were “facing these problems “after everything that has happened to them.”

He added that while his investigation was “not in a position to rule on negligence” 

“it did provide a robust clinical assessment of each case.”

He said: “I would have hoped this could be taken into account in deciding to offer early settlement instead of a protracted dispute. It seems sad a more compassionate approach has not been adopted.

“The families have been involved in a lot of stress. This has carried on for a number of years. They gave evidence to my investigation and understandably they will be exhausted by the process of going through inquests in some cases and then still have to make their case all over again. 

“In a process like this it’s possible for NHS Resolution to admit failings so that cases are not long and drawn out.

“It’s out of my hands but I would hope that some compassion is shown by the NHS. I understand that East Kent NHS Trust has already said it won’t be contesting any of the claims. However, it’s NHS Resolution’s decision as it’s the organisation responsible for payments.”

In a statement NHS Resolution said: “NHS Resolution acknowledges the pain and suffering experienced by the families involved. While the Kirkup team provided a valuable clinical review, it was not intended to establish legal liability.  We aim to ensure families receive compensation as soon as possible, and we urge families or their representatives to contact us if they have any concerns.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Health Minister Maria Caulfield has met with many families involved…over the past year to hear their concerns…she will be inviting the families to meet again to discuss their concerns, including on compensation.”

A spokesperson for East Kent Univerties Hospital Foundation Trust said: “The Trust Board has apologised unreservedly for the pain and devastating loss endured by the families and for the failures of the Board to effectively act. These families came to us expecting that we would care for them safely and compassionately, but we failed to do that. We accept all that the report says, and we are determined to use the lessons within it to put things right.”

Helen Gittos lost her daughter Harriet eight days after she was born having suffered a brain injury during her birth at The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in 2014. Harriet was delivered via emergency C-section after her heartbeat could be heard dipping on the monitor. The Kirkup review linked the brain injury and death to poor care. 

Ms Gittos, 50, an Oxford University history lecturer said she felt the hospital’s reaction during her labour had not been “swift enough or decisive enough.” 

Ms Gittos, mother of 3, was horrified to learn maternity staff had written in her notes she had refused medical care when she had not.

She said: “To go through the relentless campaigning and work to get an inquiry, to go through the inquiry and then to have to go through it all again is just unacceptable. These families need more help. Many are looking after disabled children. Some are so exhausted they are not even trying to get compensation.

“I didn’t want to take action against the NHS but doing so now because I cannot see enough change going on in maternity care. It is extremely frustrating at how much is left for families to draw attention and raise awareness just to get people to listen.” 

She added: “This echoes the Post Office scandal and the tainted blood inquiry – even after what happened has been exposed and accepted there seems to be a total disregard for suffering and consequences for families. ”

Rebecca Kruza, 39, took her own life in 2017 months after a “traumatic” and “very badly managed” birth of her son in October 2016 at the William Harvey hospital in Ashford.

Ms Richardson said her daughter became depressed when medics failed to pick up her son who was tongue tied which affected breastfeeding. 

She believes her daughter would be alive today had she received proper care. 

She said: “From the day of the birth right up until we lost Rebecca eight months later there was a catalogue of failings. She was failed by nearly every professional involved in her care.”

 



Spread the love

You may be interested

Hundreds walk out of Harvard College graduation; UCLA contends with new protest
World
shares1 views
World
shares1 views

Hundreds walk out of Harvard College graduation; UCLA contends with new protest

Rajendran Achuthan - May 24, 2024

[ad_1] LOS ANGELES — The end of encampments at some American college campuses this spring was not the end of pro-Palestinian…

King Charles ‘hurt’ by Prince Harry’s decision to publicly snub him at event | Royal | News
Top Stories
shares1 views
Top Stories
shares1 views

King Charles ‘hurt’ by Prince Harry’s decision to publicly snub him at event | Royal | News

Rajendran Achuthan - May 24, 2024

[ad_1] King Charles is said to be "hurt" by Prince Harry's latest move, during which he appeared to publicly 'snub'…

Vinted user gets brutal response after refusing to sell bikini for £2
Fashion
shares1 views
Fashion
shares1 views

Vinted user gets brutal response after refusing to sell bikini for £2

Rajendran Achuthan - May 24, 2024

[ad_1] Brits are cashing in by selling unwanted items online, with fashion enthusiasts often turning to Vinted to earn some…

2 Responses

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.